BMW plays it smooth with 5-Series!

13 Nov, 2009 3:45pm Jack Rix

Cleaner, 7-Series-style look for big exec with new engines and stop-start to slash emissions

The new BMW 5-Series is here! The official unveiling of the new executive express is imminent, but Auto Express is one step ahead of the competition.

Our exclusive images show exactly how the model will shape up. And our German sources have revealed all the details on the car, which is set to be better to drive than ever, yet cheaper to run.

It will look smoother, too, with former design chief Chris Bangle’s controversial styling dropped in favour of a much more conservative shape.

Gone is the awkward boot lip, replaced by a tail inspired by the 7-Series, while a bold crease runs from the front wheelarch to the rear lights. This emphasises the extra 20mm of length the new model has over the outgoing car. Inside, the 5-Series will share its cabin layout with the recently launched 5-Series GT.

As with its Mercedes E-Class arch rival, a barrage of cutting-edge technology will appear – and a healthy proportion of it will be devoted to driving enjoyment. Four-wheel steering is to be carried over from the 5-Series GT, while an active rear differential will provide maximum traction.

Efficiency is high on the agenda, with stop-start ensuring that CO2 emissions tumble by 10-15 per cent. Four-cylinder models are fitted with the set-up from launch, while six-cylinder cars get it in 2011.

Economy is also boosted by new engines, including a 175bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit for the 520i. This will be replaced at a later date by a 2.0-litre turbo, delivering either 200bhp or 250hbp.

The 272bhp straight-six from the 530i will be carried over unchanged, but the 550i will swap its 4.8-litre V8 for the cleaner and more powerful 401bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 from the 7-Series.

Diesel models will receive a similar shake-up. Although the 177bhp 520d will still be the entry point, a 3-Series-style  EfficientDynamics variant with emissions of less than 120g/km is likely. Gone is the 197bhp six-cylinder unit from the 525d, replaced by a significantly more efficient 204bhp four-cylinder engine from the 123d. Both the 235bhp 530d and 286bhp twin-turbo 535d will return.

We’ve recently driven ActiveHybrid versions of the 7-Series and X6, and a petrol-electric 5-Series will follow. This variant is likely to appear in showrooms in 2011.

It will feature the same layout as the ActiveHybrid 7, combining a proven 218bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine from the 525i with an electric motor housed in the eight-speed automatic gearbox. But unlike the 7-Series, the ActiveHybrid 5 will have the ability to drive up to 2.5 miles on electric power alone.

The 5-Series family will grow when the Touring version is introduced in February. But performance fans will have to wait until 2012 for the next M5 – and the existing car’s V10 will make way for a 555bhp 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8.

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As always, one will have to wait until seeing it in the flesh but first impressions are that the backside is much improved but the front is a real mishmash of angles. I'm now officially off the waiting list!

Bring back bangle !!. I'm a real big fan of 'beemers' and especially the 3 & 5 series. Currently own a '3' and was looking to land a '5'. Well this latest design is allover the place. It looks like a slightly stretched 3 from the back with a bodged 1 Series nose. Its particularly ugly. I certainly feel let down with this one !.

I agree. This isn't design, it's a confused mess. I was looking forward to replacing my 5 Touring with another, but it may have to be a Skoda Superb Estate instead!

Frankly, I am very disappointed with the appearance of this car. I will not be changing my 525 tourer any time soon. My next car might also be the Superb Estate.

I agree with the comment likening this to a worked over 3-series. I would be sorely disappointed if I had placed an order, only for it to look like an uglier version of its bland junior sibling. I didnt realise that BMW were taking the Porsche approach to design.

I am not a staunch Bangle fan by any means - but at least his designs have largely stood up to the challenge. These latest models, for the most part, are bereft of any design direction or language.

yes have to agree the front end is a mess the sides look okay but will have to wait and see when it is out but i,m running a e61 535d touring and i would not buy this new model if it looks like the pics

I owned an E39 525i se for 8 years from new. i purposely refused to replace it with the E60 Bungle and bought a 3.2 petrol HSE Freelander which is a fine car. Having seen these pictures of the new 5er I can't help notice the similar lines to the E39. and that's good enough for me. I will be buying a new series 5 BMW again. Finally BMW has taken note of all the years of critiscm of the current model. I think it was there biggest mistake and I wonder just how many refused to buy the Bangle model..... Well done BMW for changing course. Class not sporty!

Frankly BMW can't design nice looking cars, it's such a shame that they drive so unbeatably well, but nowadays all cars are beginning to drive good.

Even Ford and Vauxhall have better designs.

Backward design. This thing looks dated before it's even released. Agree with many others, lacks cohesion, direction, etc. Bangle was a genius and glad most people seem to realise that now. The E60 looks more modern than this. Alfa are gonna kill it with the 169. I worry for the next 3 series...

This is a lot better looking 5 series than the out going

Why are BMw just taking the latest design and copying it with a scale factor. At least with Bangles influences each had an underlying corporate style with model specific quirks. All we're getting now is the same old bmw either taller, longer, wider or with hideous boots (GT).
I know times are tight and Porsche has been doing things this way for a while but they can get away with it becuase they had a good design to start with.
BMW need another Bangle.....

I check other car webs nothing they got this new BMW 5 series. If it offical I take your world for it. I be back this blog for updates. It half of the current 3 series & half of the 7 series. The next 6 series should follow.

I suspect that like some other models in the range, the design will "grow on you" and I suspect it looks better in the flesh. I hated the current 5 series when it was launched but have subsequently come to like it a lot and I imagine that although - post-Bangle, BMW are playing it safe - the design will improve on acquaintance.

boring...

So, the 520D 177 is going into the new model? Lets hope its quieter than the current one. anybody got an existing one thats noisey??????? or is mine special

Bangles design was really radical at launch and then grew on most people,I still think it's a stunning car with the right spec.This design is dull and BMW were obviously afraid to attempt anything as radical this time round (maybe that should read " unable to attempt " ?)

Talk about boring and safe. Looks like a souped up Honda to me. I see I won't be giving up my Bangle 5 series any time soon.

Remember how ugly the Merc S class was. This is a creeper. It'll grow on you. I have an E60 myself with 367 horses. Wonder how much fun the 401 version would be, with a hiss each time it changes gears.....

(3 + 7) / ' = 5. In mathematics and in BMW. Boring.

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